National Youth Theatre & Hull University Announce Environmental Project MELT On Earth Day

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MELT 2020

On Earth Day, the National Youth Theatre (NYT) in partnership with the University of Hull announces MELT, a major new three-year project exploring climate change; and culminating in an outdoor processional piece with a cast of 1000 young people.

MELT will begin interactive digital research and development sessions because of the current lockdown. Group rehearsals kick-off in May 2020 via video conferencing with an initial cast of 200, and the sessions will inform a series of physical and digital dramatisations. The focus of them will be on the flooding of coastal areas. And they will be released over the course of the next three years. On 20 June 2020, the work created by members during the research and development phase will be live-streamed via www.nyt.org.uk/melt. This will include an invitation to young people to join the creative conversation in response to the climate crisis. And the programme finale will see a large-scale processional outdoor piece travel through cities and sites on the East Coast. This will highlight the climate emergency, and dates and locations will be announced in due course.

MELT 2020

“Rich heritage and expertise in the humanities and creative arts”

The production will be led by NYT Artistic Director Paul Roseby. Zoe Lafferty, Associate Director of The Freedom Theatre, Palestine will be alongside, as will Joel Scott, Artistic Director at Goat and Monkey. Award-winning 16-year-old writer Freya Hannan-Mills also jons them. She’s the first of a collective set of young writers to be commissioned from NYT’s on-going online youth-curated events during lockdown. One of which is RUSH. RUSH showcases Britain’s best young artists of colour curated by Shakira Newton on 3rd May. Hannan-Mills successfully auditioned for the NYT in 2019 as part of the free Auditions Access Fund. This was supported by Patron and alumnus Hugh Bonneville.

MELT will be created by leading climate scientists from the University of Hull’s Energy and Environment Institute. And experts in human geography will collaborate with them. Other specialisms will work with the NYT over the coming months to help bring the show to life, with the University committed to help combat climate change. It’ll brings together world-leading flood and flood resilience specialists within the Energy and Environment Institute helping society adapt to climate change. And other collaborations will bring a rich heritage and expertise in the humanities and creative arts.

“It’s an honour to collaborate”

MELT is the fourth major environmental work at NYT in the last decade. It follows S’warm which saw hundreds of young actors swarm iconic London sites in 2010. There was also SLICK in response to plastic in our oceans in 2011; and FLOOD, in partnership with Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation in 2018.

Zoe Lafferty said: “As the devastating effects of the climate crisis destroys people’s lives across the world, young people are leading the fight for the right to life. It is an honour to collaborate with the National Youth Theatre. And their young artists across Britain. And through culture demand that younger generations not only have a right to a future but reimagine a world with equality and justice at its core.”

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